This essay TURMOIL AND ORDER has a total of 1384 words and 11 pages.
TURMOIL AND ORDER
A Brief Analysis of the Natural Imagery in Shelley’s Political Poetry
0348937, M.A. student
Lit. 3B, essay 1
16 November 2003-11-3
The passion for nature and being close to nature seem to be the common features of all Romanticist poets, with William Wordsworth as the most outstanding representative. Unexceptionally, Percy Bysshe Shelley was also fond of using natural imagery to express his understanding and attitude towards life and society. However, Shelley’s description of nature is always pervaded by a wild, astounding, even destructive force, which can be best reflected in his well-known Ode to the West Wind.
The poem appears to be an ode to an overwhelming power that eliminates all of the dying lives and brings hope for the new beginning, a “Destroyer and Preserver”. Unlike Wordsworth’s “quiet sky”, Shelley’s devotes his attention to the withering strength of the natural force. Opposite to Colridge’s mysterious “measureless caverns” and “lifeless ocean”, Shelley’s belief in the “impetuous” spirit is strikingly firm. Traditionally, autumn was generally labeled as the season of harvest and tranquility. But what appeals to Shelley is the destructive and revivifying spirit in late autumn.
In Shelley’s poetry, natural imagery is frequently used to illustrate the law that not only dominates the Nature, but also dictates the human society. The natural imagery in his poems is apparently endowed with a political significance. The sweeping wild wind symbolizes the revolutionary force, while the “leaves dead” represent the waning powers as well as the thoughts out-of-date. The poem was written in 1819, just after the downfall of Napoleon’s empire, and the various European kingdoms were busy restoring their dethroned monarchs. The colors of the perished leaves naturally reminds his contemporary readers of the map of Europe, and the colors Shelley chooses ─ “Yellow, and black, and pale, and hectic red”(l.l.4) ─ clearly show his attitude towards the weak power groups who are seeking for temporary ease. As Shelley sees it, the revolutionary force is the “Dirge of the dying year”(Ode to the West Wind, l.l.23-24), and it will definitely take the place of the old social system. That is why Shelley is considered the Romanticism poet with the greatest revolutionary spirit.
Accompanied with the title “revolutionary” which he deserved well, Shelley is also named an “atheist”, which is not necessarily proper. In his “A Defence of Poetry”, Shelley defined poem as “the very image of life expressed in its eternal truth”(Norton Anthology, p.783). More than that, he proceeds to explore the essence of “the highest good”(Norton Anthology, p.786). It is hard to imagine a sheer atheist should devote himself into the pursuit of “sublime” as Shelley did. Shelley was by no means an atheist who did not believe the existence of any spirits superior to the temporal life.
From Shelley’s tendency to use natural images, the readers can easily find that he is trying to prove the universality of the order of nature. In the third stanza of Ode to the West Wind, he describes an amazing scene under the Atlantic Ocean:
… while far below
The sea-blooms and the oozy woods which wear
The sapless foliage of the ocean, know
Thy voice, and suddenly grow grey with fear,
And tremble and despoil themselves…(l.l.38-40)
Under these lines, Shelley adds a note that says, “The vegetation at the bottom of the sea… sympathizes with that of the land in the change of seasons.”(Norton Anthology, p697) Here, Shelley is actually emphasizing the catholicity of the law of nature. Now that the succession of seasons applies to the benthal world, it must also apply to all natural creatures and political powers. After the peak season, everything will inevitably step into decline and give way to the new generation. In his Ozymandias, the same theme is mentioned:
And on the pedestal, these words appear:
My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings,
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!
Nothing beside remains, Round the decay
Of that colossal Wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.(l.l.9-14)
Through the depiction of the ancient statue, Shelley explains that, everything is doomed to wane and fall into oblivion, no matter how powerful it once was. In the world of nature, the alternation of the old and new is achieved through the interference of the wild west wind; while in human society, violent revolution certainly
Topics Related to TURMOIL AND ORDER
Ode to the West Wind, Ode, Percy Bysshe Shelley, Shelley
Essays Related to TURMOIL AND ORDER
Ode to the west windOde to the westwindOde to a WestWind is an apostrophie Sec. 1- The wind is cause for life and death Sec. 2- wind has power in sky storms Sec. 3- The wind has power over the sea Sec. 4- Keats places him self in the wind Sec. 5- The cycle starts all over John Keats got TB at the age of 21, and much of his work forsees his own death. Category: English
Romantic Opinions In The Work Of Percy Bysshe ShelRomantic Opinions In The Work Of Percy Bysshe Shelley To think of something romantically is to think of it naively, in a positive light, away from the view of the majority. Percy Bysshe Shelley has many romantic themes in his plays. Educated at Eton College, he went on to the University of Oxford only to be expelled after one year after publishing an inappropriate collection of poems. He then worked on writing full-time, and moved to Italy shortly before his death in a boating accident off the s
Shelley's Ode To the West Wind: AnalysisShelley\'s Ode To the WestWind: Analysis In Ode to the WestWind, Percy Bysshe Shelley tries to gain transcendence, for he shows that his thoughts, like the winged seeds (7) are trapped. The WestWind acts as a driving force for change and rejuvenation in the human and natural world. Shelley views winter not just as last phase of vegetation but as the last phase of life in the individual, the imagination, civilization and religion. Being set in Autumn, Shelley observes the changing of the
A Wind For every SeasonA Wind For every Season In Ode to the WestWind, Percy Bysshe Shelley tries to gain transcendence, for he shows that his thoughts, like the winged seeds (7) are trapped. The WestWind acts as a driving force for change and rejuvenation in the human and natural world. Shelley views winter not just as last phase of vegetation but as the last phase of life in the individual, the imagination, civilization and religion. Being set in Autumn, Shelley observes the changing of the weather and its eff
Comaprison Of NatureComaprison Of Nature Comparison of Nature Both Shelley, in Ode to the WestWind, and Wordsworth, in Intimations of Immortality, are very similar in their use of nature to describe the life and death of the human spirit. As they both describe nature these two poets use the comparison of how the Earth and all its life is the same as our own human life. I feel that Shelley uses the seasons as a way of portraying the human life during reincarnation. Wordsworth seems to concentrate more on the stages
TURMOIL AND ORDERTURMOIL AND ORDER A Brief Analysis of the Natural Imagery in Shelley’s Political Poetry 0348937, M.A. student Lit. 3B, essay 1 16 November 2003-11-3 The passion for nature and being close to nature seem to be the common features of all Romanticist poets, with William Wordsworth as the most outstanding representative. Unexceptionally, Percy Bysshe Shelley was also fond of using natural imagery to express his understanding and attitude towards life and society. However, Shelley’s description of na
On The Road by Jack Kerouac.On The Road by Jack Kerouac. Penguin Books. (New York, 1976) 307pp. “…I shambled after as I’ve been doing all my life after people who interest me, because the only people for me as the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue centerlight pop and
Percy Bysshe Shelley (rough draft)Percy Bysshe Shelley (rough draft) 3/14/04 AP Lit Pd. 3 From the early 19th century, Percy Bysshe Shelley is recognized as one of the most influential writers of the Romantic Period whose work is characterized by his use of imagery and symbolism. Such examples can be found in his poems such as “Ode to the WestWind,” “Hymn to Intellectual Beauty,” and “Ozymandias.” In Shelley’s view, “the poet is a dreamer, a visionary” who uses these dreams and visions to “persuade men to shake off the chains o
Percy Bysshe ShellyPercy Bysshe Shelly In order to understand Percy Bysshe Shelly¹s work, one must understand his life and his characteristic. Shelly was one of the most intellectual and sensitive poets of the Romantic period. Most of his famous works were written during the last four years of his life, when he lived in Italy with his second wife Mary. The text Adventures of English Literature contains two sonnets and one poem by Shelly. The angelic characteristic of Percy Bysshe Shelly was thoroughly expressed th
The Atomic Bomb and its Effects on Post-World WarThe Atomic Bomb and its Effects on Post-World War II Then a tremendous flash of light cut across the sky . Mr. Tanimoto has a distinct recollection that it traveled from east to west, from the city toward the hills. It seemed like a sheet of sun. ÐJohn Hersey, from Hiroshima, pp.8 On August 6, 1945, the world changed forever. On that day the United States of America detonated an atomic bomb over the city of Hiroshima. Never before had mankind seen anything like. Here was something that was sligh
LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVENLUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN History 106 Ludwig Van Beethoven was, with out a doubt, one of, if not the greatest musical geniuses that has ever lived. Music historians have written countless books about him as a composer and musician. This paper will not be based on Beethoven’s music, even though it will be mentioned from time to time. I give a brief history of his early life, the Vienna years, his nephew Karl years, Later, some of his beliefs and some of his works they affected. Ludwig Van Beethoven wa
The Atomic BombThe Atomic Bomb Then a tremendous flash of light cut across the sky . Mr. Tanimoto has a distinct recollection that it traveled from east to west, from the city toward the hills. It seemed like a sheet of sun. John Hersey, from Hiroshima, pp8 On August 6, 1945, the world changed forever. On that day the United States of America detonated an atomic bomb over the city of Hiroshima. Never before had mankind seen anything like. Here was something that was slightly bigger than an ordinary bomb, yet
Introduction Introduction Dejection- an Ode, written by Samuel Taylor Coleridge in 1802 is considered central among his odes and is often expressed as his Swan Song. Depicting the deeply meditative temper of Coleridge, this poem is the essence of Coleridge's poetic imagination and magic verse. It is composed during the later period of his poetic journey and presents highly anti Wordsworthian stance of nature. Written in a very plaintive mood, this poem mourns the consequences of losses and expresses the cru